Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apertura 2011 Round 4 - Five down, Rafaela up

Round 4 started with 5 leaders (Velez, Lanus, Boca, Colon and Racing) and neither of them won !
So now the only leader is the surprising Atletico Rafaela, with 9 points.

* The round started with Godoy Cruz being far, far superior to Banfield. The 1st half should have ended already in a home win but a good game by Banfield's goalkeeper Cristian Luchetti kept the game scoreless.
In the 2nd half finally Godoy took the 1-0 lead and from there the visitors started to play a little better and could have scored, but it was always the home team who had the best chances on counter attacks.
It was 1-0, but should have been a 2 or 3-0. Four played, four lost and no goals scored for Banfield and coach Sebastian Mendez might had to resign after this game.

* It's very difficult to explain what is happening with Estudiantes. They have the names, but they don't have a team.
For 20 minutes they looked like the super team they were expected to be. 2 goals scored by their strikers who had missed many chances in the 1st games, 2 other goals cancelled due to very small offsides, and it looked like a rain of goals was coming but they suddenly stopped playing, relaxed too much and allowed San Martin to start growing. Before HT the visitors scored the 1-2, and in the 2nd half basically dominated the game taking a draw that could have been a victory because they played vs 10 Estudiantes men the last 10 minutes.
Once again Juan S. Veron couldn't complete the 90 minutes due to pain in his ankle and his retirement looks every day closer (I would bet this could be his last tournament if they continue like this).

* Racing and Arsenal basically didn't play and the scoreless result shows exactly what happened on the field.
Arsenal dominated most of the game but without creating real danger and the frustration fouls came in the 2nd half resulting in 2 red cards for Racing (including their best striker Teofilo Gutierrez) and 1 for the visitors.

* On Sunday the Santa Fe derby was played after 8 years, and Colon and their panic attack when playing at home. Union had an intense 20 minutes where they scored twice and simply cruised for the rest of the game.
Colon had a few chances but was never completely dominating and ended booed by a packed stadium that can't believe that they won only 2 games of 12 there this year.

* The other derby of this round, Boca - San Lorenzo, was also an intense match. In a very balanced 1st half San Lorenzo scored a nice goal from a free kick, but they conceded early in the 2nd half when it looked like they could finish it on a counter attack.
From there Boca was better and they missed two big chances (one of those was simply unbelievable what a San Lorenzo defender saved) on the line and the game ended on a 1-1 draw that overall was fair because except for those two opportunities Boca never fully dominated the game.

Round 5 starts next Friday, and it will feature another big derby, Independiente Boca.

Round 4 results :

26/8 — Godoy Cruz 1 – 0 Banfield
26/8 — Estudiantes 2 – 2 San Martín (SJ)
26/8 — Racing Club 0 – 0 Arsenal
27/8 — Lanús 0 – 0 Tigre
27/8 — A. Rafaela 3 – 1 Olimpo
27/8 — Vélez Sarsfield 0 – 1 All Boys
28/8 — Colón 0 – 2 Unión
28/8 — Belgrano 2 – Newell’s Old Boys 3
28/8 — Boca Juniors 1 – 1 San Lorenzo
28/8 — Argentinos 0 – 0 Independiente

Round 5 Schedule :

Friday September 2
16.00-- Newell´s Old Boys-Colón
18.10-- Tigre-Bánfield
21.10-- San Lorenzo-Belgrano de Córdoba

Saturday September 3
15.05-- Arsenal F.C. - Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
19.15-- All Boys-Racing Club
21.20-- Lanús-Estudiantes de La Plata

Sunday September 4
14.00-- San Martín de San Juan-Argentinos Juniors
16.00-- Unión-Atlético Rafaela
18.10-- Independiente-Boca Juniors
20.15-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Vélez Sarsfield

Standings :

* Table taken from www.La-Redo.net

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Apertura 2011 Round 3 - Five at the Top

It was for sure a profitable round for customers of the previews service, who were recommended bets on San Lorenzo -0.25, Racing DNB, Colon +0.25, Belgrano +0.25 and the only lost one was Newell's +0.25 with an unfortunate Boca goal in the 87 minute of the game.
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Third round of Apertura ended and we now have 5 (!!) leaders with 7 points, 7 undefeated teams, 8 teams that still couldn't win, 2 that didn't concede a goal yet (Boca and Lanus), 2 that couldn't score one (Estudiantes and Banfield) and only one team with 0 points (Banfield).

* The first game of the round was finishing with a fair draw when in the 91st minute Velez, the team that had tried more to win it along the 90 minutes, scored a nice goal to get the 3 points.
First half was a good one. Both hit the post once and Velez played a little better, but in the 2nd half not much was happening until the 0-1 at the end.
Velez, the last champion keeps making a difference with their solid team.

* It's always a nice day when your team wins (San Lorenzo in this case), especially with a solid performance, and even more if the game goes as predicted.
There was not much nice football in the 3-1 win vs Argentinos Jrs, but once again San Lorenzo proved to be an intense and very focused team and the 3 points were definitely deserved.
Coming up next : the big derby @ Boca !!

* Lanus had just another poor performance. They could have won it, but the scoreless draw was definitely a fair result.
Sooner or later they will start playing better, but meanwhile they are one of the leaders of the league

* In the last game of Saturday Independiente had the luckiest win in a looong time. Estudiantes was far far better in the 1st half, hitting the post one and missing chance after chance.
When Independiente got a red card before half time it looked like the away win was inevitable, but Independiente scored in their only shot at goal 2 minutes into the 2nd half and from there
just held in defense for the remaining 43 minutes while Estudiantes kept missing incredible chances. The stats probably say that Estudiantes shot at goal at least 5 times more than Independiente, but in the standings they have only 1 point of 9, completely far from what they expected to have by the 3rd round.

* A goal with less than 3 minutes left gave Boca the win.
If there had to be a winner in the game it was fair that Boca was it because although they didn't have many clear chances they controlled the ball and tried to attack until the end. Newell's could have scored earlier but in the end tried to settle the draw and ended paying with a last minutes defeat.

* Racing got their 2nd win in a row and is another leader of apertura.
It was a very similar game to the one Racing drew 1-1 at Tigre in the first round : early goal by Racing and they just tried to hold to it in the 2nd part.
The difference was that Banfield just doesn't have any luck this days and everything they tried went wrong. They are not a bad team and probably will come back from this awful start (3 of 3 lost and no goals scored).

* Sunday started with All Boys losing a game they were winning since the first minute. They never found out how to close it, Rafaela kept attacking -no good football but they tried a lot- and with 2 goals in 15 minutes got their 2nd win in 3 games. All Boys never knew how to close the game and is still win-less in Apertura.

* Colon is the 5th leader and was always a little better than Olimpo during the game and although it could have ended in a draw, the away win was a deserved result.
Next week they will play the Santa Fe derby against Union for the first time in 8 years !

Round 4 starts next Friday and will have two derbies that stand out as the most important games of the round : the Santa Fe derby Colon - Union (played for the first time since 2003) and one of the biggest derbies in 1st division, Boca - San Lorenzo.

Round 3 results :

19/8 — Arsenal 0 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield
20/8 — San Lorenzo 3 – 1 Argentinos Juniors
20/8 — San Martín (SJ) 0 – 0 Lanús
20/8 — Independiente 1 – 0 Estudiantes
21/8 — All Boys 1 – 2 A. Rafaela
21/8 — Tigre 2 – 1 Godoy Cruz
21/8 — Newell’s Old Boys 0 – 1 Boca Juniors
21/8 — Banfield 0 – 1 Racing Club
22/8 — Olimpo 0 – 1 Colón de Santa Fe
22/8 — Unión 0 – 0 Belgrano

This is the full schedule 4th Round schedule:

Friday August 26
17.05-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Banfield
19.10-- Estudiantes de La Plata-San Martín de San Juan
21.15-- Racing Club-Arsenal F.C.

Saturday August 27
15.00-- Lanús-Tigre
17.05-- Atlético Rafaela-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-All Boys

Sunday August 28
14.00-- Colón de Santa Fe-Unión de Santa Fe
16.05-- Belgrano de Córdoba-Newell's Old Boys
18.10-- Boca Juniors-San Lorenzo
20.15-- Argentinos Juniors-Independiente

Standings :

* Table taken from www.la-redo.net

Monday, August 8, 2011

Apertura 2011 Round 1 - League of Draws

Football was not really good in this first round, but customers sure had profit with the previews and the recommended bets that included Atletico Rafaela +0.5, Colon +0.25, Olimpo +0.25 among others.

What are you waiting to join the previews service ?

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Apertura seems to have started exactly where Clausura left : home teams that don't know how to win, and visitors that feel comfortable just waiting and playing on counterattacks.

This was what happened to All Boys in a very boring game where Belgrano found a goal on a defensive mistake. The home team was lucky to answer fast right when things started to get complicated for them.
The game was pretty similar to Union - Argentinos Juniors the day before and a fair score would have been a scoreless draw.

Atletico Rafaela showed exactly what was expected from them and proving that they are a team with good tactical order.
They found 2 goals very fast (of course it wasn't deserved so early) and even though they had to play almost the whole 2nd half with 9 men due to two stupid red cards (but both deserved), they knew how to hold Banfield.
The home team also proved that they will need to adapt to this new midfield and it might not be easy. They probably deserved to score at least 1 goal, but all their scoring positions came from long balls or desperate attempts.

Union - Argentinos was intense match, but bad played. Few chances to score for both teams and a very deserved draw in a match that should have been a scoreless one.

Arsenal and Colon looked like they exchanged jerseys at half time. The first half was almost completely dominated by the home team and they ended it getting a very deserved 1-0 lead.
But in the 2nd half it was the visitors who took control of the game and Arsenal just went back and gave them the ball. In 3 minutes Colon scored 2 goals and took 3 points that in the first half looked completely impossible.

Godoy Cruz and Velez had a very balanced first half with the home team leading 1-0, but right before it ended defender Nicolas Sanchez received a silly red card for arguing a call and the game changed.
Velez scored a very deserved draw and could have won it as they had the best chances in the 2nd half.

Draws, draws and more draws...well, except for San Lorenzo :(
The strangest thing was that "we" definitely didn't deserve to lose. First half was very balanced until Lanus scored through an own goal.
After that they barely had any shots at goal, and I can even say that in the 2nd half they didn't cross the midfield line. San Lorenzo didn't have a great performance but had at least 2 or 3 very clear chances to get the draw. As a fan I left the stadium not really worried because the team showed very good attitude, hopefully results will be there too.
Lanus didn't show much but it's important to say that not only they missed Diego Valeri as expected, but also Mauro Camoranesi got injured after 10 minutes and they have some players still not ready to debut.

All other Sunday games were draws, and all were fair results. Maybe Estudiantes, who missed the best chances in their visit to Newell's, deserved to win it but the difference was not that big.

Olimpo as expected didn't have much problems to stop a Boca that looked too much like the poor team they were last season, and Racing started playing better than Tigre and when they took
the 1-0 lead it looked very difficult that the home team could score the draw, but in the 2nd half the visitors looked tired and Tigre slowly started to dominate and in the end got the draw that was overall deserved.
With one game left to be played in this first round (Independiente - San Martin de San Juan, postponed and with no date yet) there were no home wins and 6 draws in 9 games.

This will be the Round 2 Schedule :

Monday August 15
15.00--Atlético Rafaela-Arsenal de Sarandí
17.05--Estudiantes de la Plata-San Lorenzo
19.10--Vélez Sarsfield-Banfield
21.15--Boca Juniors-Unión

Tuesday August 16
15.00--San Martín de San Juan-Tigre
21.15--Argentinos Juniors-Newell’s Old Boys

Wednesday August 17
17.05--Colón de Santa Fe-All Boys
19.10--Belgrano de Córdoba-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15--Racing Club-Godoy Cruz

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

48 hours to Apertura 2011 !

Only 48 hours before Apertura 2011 starts, what are you waiting to join the best (and only?) information service for the Argentinean league ?

Previews for each and every game of the tournament plus all the information, and also starting from this season, included in the service there will be odds and bets recommendations !

Contact me at mncarg@gmail.com to know more about fees and get samples of this service that will start its third consecutive season.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Transfer Market News - August 2011

New season is only few days away and while everybody was distracted with Copa America, most clubs have renewed their squads for the new tournament.

A few news worth mentioning :

*The last champion Velez kept the base of the great team that won Clausura 2011, but they lost two very important players : playmaker Maximiliano Moralez (to Atalanta) and young star Ricky Alvarez (to Inter). Their challenge will be to feed their excellent strikers, Silva and Martinez, without them.

* Estudiantes is trying to get back from their very poor semester and rebuild the team that was one of the strongest a few months ago. They struggled in attack in Clausura, so it's great news for them that Copa Libertadores 2009 top scorer Mauro Boselli is back after not playing much for Wigan in the last season.
They've also added Copa America's best goalkeeper, Paraguay's Justo Villar, and offensive midfielder Facundo Coria (ex Argentinos Juniors, Pachuca),
New coach is Miguel Angel Russo, of a poor season with Racing in 2010/2011.

* As usual it was Boca who spent the most : goalkeeper Agustin Orion (ex Estudiantes, San Lorenzo), striker Dario Cvitanich (ex Banfield, Ajax), defender Franco Sosa (ex Racing, Lorient) and 38 years old veteran defender Rolando Schiavi (comes from Newell's, had some glorious years with Boca before) are the new faces.
Cvitanich will have the difficult task of replacing all time Boca top scorer Martin Palermo who has retired, while Schiavi will be in charge of making this awful defense better.
Anyway, Boca's European tour was far from spectacular : 1-3 defeat vs Espanyol, 2-2 lucky draw vs Arsenal and 0-3 defeat vs PSG.

* Racing is candidate on paper as usual. New coach is Diego Simeone who comes from a good season with Catania. They kept last season's base and added an experienced goalkeeper in Sebastian Saja (ex San Lorenzo and AEK) and a good defensive midfielder with Agustin Pelletieri (ex Lanus). Still their main hopes for this semester will be on Colombian playmaker Giovanni Moreno recovery from the torn ACL injury that made him miss the last Clausura. With him plus his countrymen, striker Teofilo Gutierrez, they could be a top team.

This are only a few of the many transfers that have been made during the offseason. If you want to get all the best information for Apertura 2011 you can suscribe to the paid service.
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